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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Opening and Working Enquiries: Date when a notice is given

The notice of enquiry must be received by the customer(s) before the time limit. The Courts assume that second class post takes 4 working days to be delivered, and first class post takes 2 working days. Working days do not include Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays. So, for example, if your enquiry notice was posted second class on 18 July 2008, the Courts would assume that the customer(s) had not received it until 24 July (19 and 20 July 2008 are a Saturday and Sunday respectively).

You should always make sure that you post your enquiry notice at least 4 working days and, wherever possible, 7 working days before the date on which the enquiry window will close. This is to allow for the possibility of the notice being returned RLS, or for an unexpected disruption to the postal service. Although the tax credit enquiry window can close on a variety of dates, depending on the circumstances of the case, the two most common dates will be

  • 31 July - e.g., for 2006/7 enquiries, 31 July 2008
  • 31 January - e.g., for 2006/7 enquiries, 31 January 2009.

The dates by which you should, wherever possible, post your enquiry notice for these two enquiry window dates will be

  • 31 July 2008 - 22 July 2008 
  • 31 January 2009 - 21 January 2009.

It is not possible to set out here every conceivable closing enquiry window date, along with the date by which you should issue your enquiry notice. You should, however, adopt the same approach (calculating back 7 working days) in every case.